The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) on Tuesday sentenced four war criminals in Moulvibazar to death in a case filed over crimes against humanity committed during the country’s Liberation War in 1971.
The accused are Akmal Ali Talukder, Abdun Noor alias Lal Miah, Anis Miah and Abdul Mosabbir.Akmal, a former madrasa teacher from Rajnagar upazila in the district, was present in the dock during the pronouncement of the verdict while three others remain absconding.
A three-member tribunal headed by Justice Md Shahinur Islam passed the verdict in a jam-packed courtroom.
The war criminals were tried in two charges.
According to one charge, they killed 59 people, raped six women, looted 81 houses and set those structures ablaze.
According to the other charge, they killed two members of Hindu minority Chakrabarty family in the area.
The tribunal sentenced them to death in the first charge and life imprisonment in the second charge.Five of the 13 prosecution witnesses in the case were directly tortured by the accused in 1971. Three of them were victims of rape.
Witnesses Barindra Malakar and Subodh Malakar were shot and injured by the accused, according to the prosecution.
Akmal Ali was arrested from Pachgaon in Rajnagar after the tribunal issued a warrant for his arrest on November 26, 2015.
Investigation agency of the International Crimes Tribunal submitted a report on March 23, 2016. The tribunal began the trial proceedings on May 7 by indicting the suspects. The court concluded arguments from both defence and prosecution lawyers on March 27.
During hearing in the past, tribunal prosecutors Syed Haider Ali, Sheikh Mushfik Kabir and Sayedul Haque Sumon demanded death sentences of the accused persons for murder, rape and other heinous offences committed by them during the Liberation War in 1971.
Advocate Abdus Sobhan Tarafder appeared for Akmal while state counsel Abul Hasan stood for three absconding accused. He sought acquittal of his clients.
This is the 33rd verdict of the tribunal.
Earlier, former Jamaat chief Motiur Rahman Nizami, secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, and other leaders of the party Mir Quasem Ali, Abdul Quader Mollah, Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, and BNP standing committee member Salauddin Quader Chowdhury were hanged for war crimes. The SC commuted death sentence of Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee to imprisonment unto death.
Meanwhile, several appeals against the tribunal verdicts are pending with the Supreme Court. The death-row inmates whose appeals are pending with SC include Jamaat leaders ATM Azharul Islam and Abdus Subhan, Jamaat-turned expelled Awami League leader Mobarak Hossain, and Jatiya Party leader Syed Mohammad Qaisar.